Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Margaret Lucas and two senior City staffers and a team of business and educational representatives leave Sunday for a 10-day trade and cultural mission to China and Japan. News file photo

City sending delegates on trade mission to China, Japan

$28,000 cost to local taxpayers well worth the investment, mayor says

Members of Victoria council and two senior City staff leave for a 10-day trip to China and Japan on Sunday to discuss trade and tourism.

Mayor Lisa Helps, Coun. Margaret Lucas, acting city manager Jocelyn Jenkins and Kerri Moore, manager of strategic relations and business development, will join representatives of eight Victoria-area companies, the South Island Prosperity Project, Camosun College and Tourism Victoria for meetings in Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai in China, and Morioka, Japan.

The group will be discussing trade agreements in clean technology, manufacturing, education, film and tourism.

Travel expenses for the city representatives, totalling roughly $28,000, will be covered by Victoria taxpayers, while expenses for others on the trip are paid for by their organizations.

Helps is hoping this year’s trade mission will be as lucrative as one that City representatives took last year.

“Cost deliverables from last year were: the ability for Tourism Victoria to close more business [deals] than it would have, the $300,000 worth of [media] exposure, having U-bicycle choose Victoria as its first North American city … and the relationships we built,” she said.

RELATED: Victoria goes green with new bikeshare service

Helps said her presence as a Canadian mayor was well-received and allowed her to make the personal connections needed to establish good relationships with Chinese businesses. Last year, she met Grace Min, North American CEO of U-bicycle, who was looking for a North American city to launch from. The bike-sharing service opened last month in Victoria.

“Mayors hold a very prestigious place in Chinese society, because in China, it’s all the mayors who collect taxes and disperse them to the province and the federal government,” Helps said. “Those who hold the purse strings are seen as powerful.”

Stops on the trip include the Destination Canada Showcase Asia held in Beijing for Canadian, Chinese and South Korean buyers and sellers; B2B meetings in Shanghai; the Canadian Consulate General’s official residence; the Morioka Hachiman shrine; and Morioka and Iwate universities.

Local businesses joining the City of Victoria on the trip are: Limbic Media, ASAsoft Canada Ltd., Arbutus Cove Enterprises, Canadian Migration Institute, Mitu Investments Canada, Randy Lennon Media Inc., Ayase International, CAVU Designwerks and DreamCraft Attractions Ltd.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VicPD mourns loss of retired police dog, Conan

Conan and human partner helped find missing children, fugitives and more

Harbour authority names dock for Victoria’s record-breaking sailor

Jeanne Socrates is the oldest person to sail around the world unaccompanied

Man who fell 50 feet shares his tale to raise funds for Victoria hospitals

Mitch Lapore helped launch the Victoria Hospital Foundation’s latest campaign

Christmas events set to begin across Greater Victoria

Lights, parades, gingerbread and more are coming to down until the new year

Uncertainty continues to surround body found in Central Saanich

BC Coroners Service say the man in his 20s is from Victoria. His death remains under investigation

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Most Read